2 killed in avalanche

Update: March 9, 2014

Two snowshoers who died after they were caught in an avalanche near Lake Louise, Alta., on Saturday were visiting from Spain, a Parks Canada official said.

Lisa Paulson, a Parks Canada visitor safety specialist, said the victims were a woman and her boyfriend, believed to be in their twenties. They were travelling with three other people, who are also from Spain.

Paulson said the five-person group triggered an avalanche around 3 p.m. Saturday when they were near the bottom of a steep slope at Lake Agnes, approximately six kilometres from Lake Louise.

The man and the woman were fully engulfed by the slide. Park officials say the three remaining members of the group, two men and a woman, were uninjured. They were able to free themselves and call for help using a cell phone.

Brian Webster, another Parks Canada representative, said the group was not adequately prepared for an avalanche.

"These people didn't have avalanche safety gear. They didn't have avalanche beacons and there was no way to find them using avalanche transceivers," Webster told CTV Calgary.

Parks Canada crews arrived at the scene approximately 50 minutes after receiving the distress call. The three surviving members of the group were evacuated from the scene and crews were able to locate one of the buried snowshoers.

Original story

Parks Canada says two snowshoers have died after being buried in an avalanche near Lake Louise. Another three were uninjured.

Officials say the group was at the bottom of a steep slope and triggered an avalanche on Lake Agnes around 3 p.m.

They say the three who weren't caught in the slide called for help on their cellphones and managed to pull one of their companions out.

Parks Canada safety crews took four of the snowshoers away from the site then triggered two more avalanches.

They say once the area was deemed safe, a search dog was brought in to find the remaining snowshoer.


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